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by Published on 2012-07-11 08:29 AM

RMAH Commodities Live, Blizzard on Follow Up Points, Number of Public Games, Action Bar Locking, Blue Posts, Fan Made Music

Tier 14 Sets Recap
Now that the Tier 14 sets are more complete, here are some previews we haven't done yet. If you want to see the Tier 14 tokens or Items themselves, check out our Tier 14 Armor Sets page!

Class Male Female Video
Death Knight Male Human Female Human Video
Druid Male Human Female Human Video
Hunter Male Human Female Human Video
Mage Male Human Female Human Video
Monk Male Pandaren Female Pandaren Video
Monk Male Human Female Human Video
Paladin Male Human Female Human Video
Priest Male Human Female Human Video
Rogue Male Human Female Human Video
Shaman Male Human Female Human Video
Warlock Male Human Female Human Video
Warrior Male Human Female Human Video

MMO-Champion Forums Moderator Recruitment
Good news everyone! We're recruiting moderators for the forums again! The amount of users and posts keeps increasing and we reached the point where we need some help before the trolls take over and play Whack-a-Mod in the Darkmoon Faire. I know it sounds fun, but I'm going to assume we don't want that.

Please be sure to read the entire post before applying!

Introducing the Guild Mentoring Program
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Azeroth -- It’s a land of turmoil, harsh and unyielding for heroes of the Horde and the Alliance as they struggle against enemies from within and without. For those stepping forth for the first time into this implacable realm, life can seem overwhelming, but surviving in this hostile environment is not insurmountable with a little help. Will your band of brothers and sisters, heroes and mentors, heed your call for aid?

Azeroth needs more heroes to rise through the ranks and your guild can help. We’re looking for a few good guilds to volunteer for the new Guild Mentoring Program. Guilds participating in the program will take part in identifying new players within selected realms, offering to invite them into the guild, and teaching them the ways of Azeroth as they level and reach the end game content.

Q. What is the Guild Mentoring Program?
A. The guild mentoring program identifies guilds on select realms to act as mentors for new and low level players (below level 85).

Q. How long does the Guild Mentoring Program run for?
The Guild Mentoring Program will run for a period of three months from the time that guilds are selected and notified.

Q. Is there a certain criteria for being selected as a mentoring guild?
Guilds must meet certain criteria to be considered for the Guild Mentoring Program:
  • Guilds must be located on one of the selected realms.
  • They must be willing to commit to the program for a three month period.
  • They must be willing to change their name for the three month Guild Mentoring participation period. (Names will be changed back at the end of the program.)
  • Guilds must be at least level 6 and have an active membership.

Q. How many guilds will be recruiting per realm?
Only one guild will be selected per faction on each realm.

Q. What does my guild need to do to volunteer?
The guild leader will need to submit an application to [email protected] with the following information:
  • Current guild name and guild leader name
  • Current realm and faction of the applying guild
  • Current guild level and number of guild members
  • Guild leader’s real name and phone number (this information will not be published and is for internal use only)
  • Brief description of the Mentoring Guild

Q. How long are you accepting applications for?
We will be accepting applications for two weeks. We will then select a guild for the Guild Mentoring Program from those that meet the criteria and contact the guild leader.

Q. On what realms will this program be available?
Mentoring guilds will be chosen for the following realms:

US Realms
  • Aggramar
  • Azuremist
  • Blackhand
  • Cenarius
  • Dalaran
  • Doomhammer
  • Garona
  • Garrosh
  • Ravencrest
  • Sen'jin
  • Shu'halo
  • Ysera
Oceanic Realms
  • Dath'Remar
  • Saurfang
EU EN Realms
  • Thunderhorn
  • Azuremyst
  • Lightbringer
  • Aggramar
  • Stormrage
  • Aszune
EU DE Realms
  • Thrall
  • Alleria
  • Malygos
  • Arygos
EU FR Realms
  • Hyjal
  • Dalaran
  • Eversong

Q. Do participating guilds get anything special?
Some of the benefits for taking part in the program include:
  • MVP status on the forums for the guild leader and recruitment officer
  • Guild member private forum access
  • Recognition for your guild as being participants in the program

Beta Class Balance Analysis
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
It's especially bad if they keep this constant, quick nerf method that DS experienced. As Enhancement, I have rampup AoE, which means my numbers on fights like Yor'sajh and Madness have gone down as the nerfs have gone up because I no longer have sufficient time to get my AoE going before everything's dead.

Like I said earlier, it felt like the guys designing the classes' AoE never coordinated with the guys designing fights. It doesn't really matter if my AoE 20 seconds in is OMGWOWAWESOME if there's never a fight where AoE lasts for 20 seconds.

Class designers and encounter designers are all part of the same team. There is even some overlap in office space. You may also have tried a boss in Mists where you need to AE for five minutes or more.... At the risk of turning classes against each other, if you think there are specs that are essentially just channeling Blizzard and going from 0 to 100% very quickly, please let us know. We are more likely to adjust those than we are to give every spec very simple, boring AE rotations given that AE is more of a thing even on bosses these days.

The argument that you aren't contributing meaningful DPS on nerfed content is a little tough to address. It is most important for every spec to be able to contribute on cutting-edge content, when the risk of class stacking is at its greatest. Most reasonable players understand that as content gets nerfed, fights will get shorter and shorter, and that allows different cooldowns and mechanics to shine. If your raid leader is threatening to sit you because of your AE DPS on very easy content, then maybe he's avoiding telling you the real reason. (I jest.)

90% of your playerbase lives outside of truly cutting edge content. Most of them have damage meters. Whether you like it or not, a large part of the fun of DPSing is getting to see your name at or near the top of the meter every now an then. When there are certain phases (namely AoE here) where by default you know you have ZERO chance to see your name there, it's a little depressing.

Ultimately that's why all of this matters. You may feel it's shallow, and that's certainly your right to feel that way. It doesn't change that it's a huge part of how players get valued, and value their own experience.

We understand that winning meters can be fun. We're not going to design encounters around that though. There are DPS checks, but sometimes they are to beat the boss before the healers run out of mana or before the boss enrages, and other times they are to kill a key add in an even shorter window. Players already know ways to pad meters by cleaving adds that don't matter and the like. Overall, we don't think we're doing anyone a favor by emphasizing DPS meters even more than they already are. We'll commit to making sure you don't feel like a third wheel on any fight, especially when it's new or within the first couple of progressive nerfs.

I was puzzling it over, but it would be nearly impossible to guarantee that even when we nerf encounters to 20%+ that the relative damage dealt by everyone is going to stay in sync. When the length of a fight shortens so that you can no longer squeeze your 3-minute cooldown into the fight twice, that's going to have an impact. I understand the concern, but I'm not sure of a reasonable way to solve it. We're not going to buff and nerf classes every time we do the progressive nerfs -- that would feel crappy to everyone I think.

Because it was the only time where it was really controversial?
It's easy to play the "I didn't see feedback on X, therefore there wasn't feedback on X" card. We wouldn't have removed Judging for haste if plenty of players hadn't told us they hated the mechanic. If there's a mechanic the developers don't like, I'm more than happy to state that, so there isn't a need for us to invent some kind of silent majority to justify changes. You'll just have to trust me that when I say we heard feedback, that it really exists.

Related, we don't remove mechanics just because we receive negative feedback on them (or else there would be nothing left in the game!); it's a balancing act, based on how much feedback we here from different vectors (keeping in mind that we have a lot of players who don't post on US or even English forums), the logic made in the argument, how much the argument makes sense to us, how much we respect the arguers, and so on. There's no red meter on the office wall that we can read, and even if there was, sometimes the right answer is still one that may be unpopular in the community (at least at that moment). But I digress.

Death Knight (Forums)
I don't understand why the 30s reduction in the outbreak CD was removed in contradiction to this portion in the article. Was it to make the first tier of talents more viable?
We feel like the short Outbreak for Blood wasn't a great design. It was probably the right choice at the time, but in Mists, every tank will have to focus more on what were traditionally DPS abilities (since they translate to resources and therefore threat). We didn't think it was compelling gameplay to let Blood opt out of disease transmission. That said, you can get a lot of the gameplay back through Unholy Blight if you choose.

Druid (Forums)
If this is the preferred design why do Guardians have to spend rage for Maul? It has been stated a few times that Maul would never be used except to solo things (an only if the damage comes up).
Maul is still a DPS button. It may not be one you use often, but there will be times when you don't care about surviving (when the boss needs to die NOW, or even when you're solo or running a scenario perhaps). We may eventually end up adding a proc or something (hopefully not exactly like Ultimatum), but we're not sure it's needed. At the moment Guardian damage is too high, so encouraging more Mauls isn't super high priority.

Hunter (Forums)
Based on my testing so far with the snake trap formula, it looks like snake trap is going to be doing enough damage (at least for SV) that we would want to include it in our rotation (assuming I calculated the scaling right).
You're probably right, and we don't want Snake Trap to be used rotationally. We do want Snake Trap damage to be in the non-joke range. We'll try to find some middle ground.

In the current beta build, survival's damage is being hindered by explosive shot ticking for almost less than a serpent sting tick.
In ilevel 460, I show Serpent Sting ticking for about 6K and Explosive Shot ticking for about twice that. Overall, Explosive Shot contributes 3x or 4x as much damage as Serpent Sting. What are you seeing?

It feels extremely weak while PvPing, have you played survival in a bg recently? You can barely make a difference without spamming cobra shot.
Survival gets a lot of damage from dots, which is just a different model than Marks. We can push damage numbers around a bit (perhaps nerf Cobra Shot so it's not quite so much of an upgrade over Steady Shot) but at some point that's just going to mean the difference between MM and SV is the name of their signature shot. Dots also can be really powerful in PvP. I would want to see some more testing before determining that Survival needs very high burst damage to be PvP viable.

Monk (Forums)
This honestly bothers me a hell of a lot, because when you nerf energy regen for monks, you're making their best tanking stat haste.
It's a good stat for Brewmasters for sure, and it needs to be because monks will have haste on their gear. However, Brewmasters probably have the most valuable secondary stats of any spec in the game. They don't really have bad stats, and their good stats aren't a ton better than others. (If you think that isn't the case, please feel free to argue that point though.)

Shaman (Forums)
That talent is the only thing keeping Rshamans wanted due to our lack of spread healing(Double HTT helps with that). If you remove that ability you might as well leave us how we were in T11/T12 due to lack of such healing. It also doesn't help the other two choices are not even a choice due to how bad they are. You can make Cote a 30 minute cd and we would still take it.
We don't want Resto shaman to be balanced around a mandatory talent, and you probably don't want that either. The design we are trying internally right now is letting it reset all totem cooldowns less than 3 minutes, but lowering its cooldown to 3 minutes.

From the logs I have seen so far we are either behind other healers or barely equal in select cases with regards to healing numbers and I pray hardmodes will solve this due to our mastery. Not to mention our mana regen is nothing to brag about
We look at all of those logs and watch many, many raid boss attempts. If you have specific cases where you feel like shaman aren't competitive healers or struggle with mana, please point those out (but as I have said, Mistweavers are an outlier right now, not the target.) Specific examples are much more useful to us (and I suspect other players) than general "well, what if there's a fight with these parameters?"

A simple quick glance at this list clearly shows the cheapest spell for shaman being more expensive than ANY priest spell in either spec.
As other players pointed out:

Flash Heal costs 19,800 mana.
Healing Surge costs 18,960 mana.

In any case, as I said, you have to look at the whole package. Healing Rain heals for a lot, but it's also not a cheap spell. Paladin heals appear very expensive, yet they have a lot of free heals. Healing Surge's throughput is propped up partially by Tidal Waves. I also know shaman like to call Mana Tide Totem a raid cooldown and not a personal cooldown, but it still gives you mana. If you just stand their OOM with Mana Tide available, your raid leader may scratch her head.

Is it intended for Elemental Blast to give a random buff instead of your increasing your highest stat?

Is it intended for Glyph of Riptide to not proc Resurgence?
No. We’re changing Glyph of Riptide to reduce the healing done by Riptide’s initial heal by 90%, instead of removing it, so that it still functions with Resurgence, Ancestral Awakening, Echo of the Elements, etc.

Of course it affects our regen, and of course we are going to use it. However, the problem is that it also gives the same amount of mana to every other healer in the raid. Because every other healer gets Mana Tide plus Divine Plea/Shadowfiend/Innervate, Shaman regen will naturally feel lower than that of other classes (and probably output will also be lower because of not having a personal regen cooldown).
We like Mana Tide Totem's group benefit though. If Resto shaman struggle with mana, then we'd more likely buff the mana return from Resurgence rather than give them another cooldown. (We could also have Mana Tide give more mana to the shaman, but then you might have to make an unfun decision about whether your mana needs were more important than the other healers.)

Warlock (Forums)
Right now, the specs with the spammiest AoE are doing a lot more damage. I'm harping on Destro's AoE as an example of a stupidly complex AoE rotation that does very weak damage.
Ultimately, Destro is largely using their single target spells to do AE along with Rain of Fire. You can also prepare for the ramp up by saving up embers just before the AE moment starts.

- Pyroclasm - Is it intended for it to be a dps loss to use the Backdraft charges on CB?
For maximum sustained damage, you will probably do better using Backdraft on Incinerate. There are times when burst damage is more important though, and faster Chaos Bolts will be attractive.

I say this with a little tongue in cheek, but for some players, winning meters is more important. For others, beating the boss is.

- Dark Soul - Are you happy with the benefit that each spec is deriving from this cooldown? Right now, Destro yet again feels like it falls behind because RNG can significantly negate the benefits of its cooldown (i.e. - you may not crit any more than you would normally; it's even possible to crit less frequently during its duration!
Well, Chaos Bolt always crits, so you can align them with Dark Soul....

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
New LFR Loot System
I think one of the real questions here is how does the game determine this exactly.
It starts at the first player and rolls a number from 1-100. If it rolls <5, you win loot. Then it goes to the next player. The game doesn't care what any individual player rolled, so once under a blue moon it might be possible for all 25 to get loot. (The actual chance might not be 5%, but you get the idea.)

This is why there is no concept of passing or anything else, because whether you win loot or not has no bearing on whether other players win loot.

This is sort of off-topic but semi-related, but how will World Bosses work? Will they use the LFR loot system or require that I be in the group that tagged it? I foresee a lot of same-faction griefing if it didn't use the LFR one (ie: pulling the boss early and dropping combat immediately forcing it to respawn several minutes later in a different location, or just plain pulling it early to wipe the group before they're ready) or pulling a lot of extra nearby mobs, etc.
We might have loot work slightly differently on the two world bosses since they appear at different frequencies. In general world bosses work exactly like LFR. If you want to invite everyone in the area into the raid, it won't diminish your chance to get loot. The only reason to not invite people is if you want to be a jerk for some reason. Individuals do have to be in the group that has loot rights (i.e. tagged the boss). We are fine with there being some competition especially on PvP servers; that's part of what world bosses are all about. If you just loiter in the vicinity and do a little damage but aren't part of the raid group, you won't have a shot at loot.

I know you didn't mention here, GC, but someone (Blue) has in the past, and that is the idea that the mechanism for LFR loot distribution may be that the game chooses X random people to win loot, where X is some number either hardcoded into the loot system, or chosen by some other mechanism at the time the loot drops (for example).
We considered that approach, but were concerned that it would pressure groups into killing a boss with the smallest group possible. Theoretically if you killed a boss with 5 characters, then each would win loot and you would be motivated not to invite friends or strangers. We went with a model where the number of characters has no bearing on whether you win loot or not.

All of this is for Raid Finder and world bosses. Dungeon Finder (for now) still uses the Cataclysm system and guild raids use whatever system you want, such as Master Looter or Free for All.

So does that mean if you win something in LFR in mists it is NOT tradeable? So if two friendly priests queue for LFR and one of them wins a piece that he already has, he cannot trade it to his GF who actually needs it?
Correct. Being able to trade loot works great with groups of friends. It can work okay if you are a nice person, but there isn't much incentive to look out for your fellow players if you aren't likely to ever group with them again. Overall it just seems to cause loot drama. "Trade with me, because I ran this raid a dozen times and didn't get the drop." "Trade with me, because it's a bigger upgrade for me than you." "Give me that item, because I inspected your achievements and I raid more than you." This anonymity is one of the weaknesses of Raid Finder for sure, but we think in the long run that the strengths of being able to join a raid whenever you want outweigh those limitations.

Will it select loot as it deems "appropriate" for just the class in general, or for their specific spec? I would really hate to win loot, just to find out i received an item for holy, when I am playing Ret.
It looks at your spec, not your class. We decided it was a superior design to give you something for a role that we know you use rather than trying to guess whether you ever like to tank or not. There are plenty of other avenues (dungeons, factions, scenarios, crafting, the AH, PvP, guild runs, etc.) to gear up for an alternate spec.

With random rolls you don't really get that feeling because it is all visible and most people don't believe that Blizzard is altering the /roll just for them (although sometimes it feels that way). The new LFR system doesn't look very transparent, and so a person constantly seeing nothing go into their bags might lose hope that they will win anything and stop raiding altogether.
Possibly, but there are plenty of cases today where players don't believe that random roles are random.

What if it's entirely guild based group, it will still use LFR loot rules and not master looter? that seems a bit ackward.
I honestly don't remember. Usually if we know the group is pre-made, then we let you use what loot rules you want. The only reason we would not have implemented that way is if it was technically challenging for some reason, and I just can't remember which way it ended up. For world bosses, I suspect it still uses the Raid Finder loot system, because we didn't want there to be any reason to exclude a friend of a friend or whatever.

Does this mean that you might consider switching the Dungeon Finder loot system to use something similar to the new LFR system? I realize that random 5-man groups should be able to distribute loot appropriately through communication, but in practice this seldom happens. Instead, some people will roll need on everything they can which ends up in undesirable loot distribution - particularly with respect to gear that is not armor-type restricted (e.g., Hunter rolling need on dodge trinket).
If the Raid Finder loot system works out, we would consider adding it to dungeons. One of the challenges is that dungeon bosses typically have shallower loot tables than raid bosses. If you are a Holy paladin and the dungeon boss doesn't have a Holy paladin item, we would have to decide how to handle that (maybe you can't win a roll for that boss, or maybe you'd get gold or valor instead). For raid bosses, we can make sure every boss has at least one thing you can use. (Granted, you may already own that item.)

The game keeps track of who is in who's group upon entering LFR. If say 5 friends grouped up to help one person gear, couldn't the game allow trading of items that drop between those people only? That way everyone still gets their roll chance but if a few geared players want to help a friend they still can? It wouldn't affect the overall roll chance in the new LFR system but it would allow people who want to help their friends gear up quickly for whatever reason.
Potentially. If the basic system works out we could consider adding something like this. It would have the risk / side-effect that a group of 25 players could still potentially funnel every item to one player and gear that player up faster. Maybe that's fine. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Content Difficulty and Consumption Speed
Players who have cleared have already beaten the challenge, put in the hours then 2-3 months later people who put in half the effort get the same reward.
If someone, months later, can clear the content in half the time the original group did, then it probably is a group that doesn't need the debuff to play at that level anyways.

A group that needs the 20% debuff to progress through Heroic Dragon Soul is not going to realistically clear it in half the time or half the effort than others did. It's really allowing them to tackle the content, not breeze through it.

Wether or not players haven't cleared Dragon Soul at this point is slightly irrelevant Ujellibrah, I'm saying this because when the nerfs started most had only just returned from Christmas holidays.., and considering it's only an 8 boss tier with a very limited loot table, 1 - 1½ month is next to no time for a proper gearing process in terms of a raid throughout put (Natural nerf through gearing to overcome a challenging boss)

From my PoV that's the only issue I have with nerfs, they are coming far to fast even when it's in increments as we've experienced this time

This is actually useful feedback (which you and others have mentioned on this thread) for the developers, thanks.

I love it how Draztal categorizes you as a hardcore if you liked TBC raiding above all others. I raided 3 nights a week for 3,5 hours, without voicecom. That's miles from hardcore imo. We did not manage to kill Vashj or Kael, but for the love of God we had fun trying to.
Oh, please, not at all. I loved TBC and I was very deep into raiding back then. I've actually mentioned what I think a hardcore player would be here.

When you stepped on this road, and removed attuments, our guild stopped raiding. Because we were not supposed to see MH or BT, we we're not prepared.
So, you had the chance to progress further (and actually get gear that would have helped you overcoming Vashj and Kael'thas) but you decided that, for whatever reason, you didn't belong in there, despite the removal of the attunements. That kind of self-imposed restriction is fine, sure, but I can't feel much empathy to an argument that basically says "we couldn't progress, and when you gave us the chance to do something different and progress, we still refused to take it."

Watched some documentary about raiding a while back. They described raiding as a giant jigsaw puzzle you're trying to solve with 9/24 like minded people, by putting the right pieces on the right places. With blanket nerfs, the solving the puzzle part has vanished. You solve the puzzle by slamming the pieces where ever you please, even if they dont fit. By time, the pieces break down and fit where ever you slam them. That's not how you solve a puzzle. That's not how you overcome a mechanic, which frankly arent all that hard in DS.
The debuff only makes things easier, it doesn't get rid of any mechanics, and you can't ignore them either.

Heroic modes are supposed to test your skills. It's a !@#$ed up world where we are heading if your not supposed to improve yourself. Just like demanding Rooney, Messi or Ronaldo to play x % worse just so that Mike from next door can play with them in the WC finals.
Players improve every time, some will improve more than others, but there's always something to learn when you're progressing through encounters.

Ps. How on earth can you call Hagara HC a roadblock?
It's a roadblock for the guilds stuck on that boss (others may be stuck on Yor'sahj, and others may be stuck on Blackhorn, you probably get the point).

No one who is taking raiding halfways seriousely needs a nerf in DS normal. Normal modes generally are too easy, like some kind of meaningless thing you do the first week after release to unlock heroic modes
It might be meaningless to you, but there're players progressing through Normal even these days, for whatever their reason is. If your guild is used to raiding in Heroic, that's great, but don't write off Normal as something that noone does other than to unlock Heroic, because, honestly, it's not true. There are players that do find a challenge in that difficulty, and actually expect at some point to move on and tackle Heroic, just as other guilds are doing now.

I bet we would've killed Rag, but reaching that amount of tries would have taken 10 months.
Honest question, do you realistically think your guild, you, and your friends, would have kept up with 10 months of straight bashing your head against Ragnaros? 10 months, 40 weeks of knowing that there's nothing new in your raid than this one boss you're seeing where you're making almost very little weekly progress. Time is a big factor here. There's a difference on keeping the willingness to tackle a challenge for 2 weeks straight until you see it fall, with keeping that same willingness during 10 months. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Raid Testing
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Upcoming Raid Testing Difficulty
At this point it's likely that we will do 10-player Heroic testing before we do 25-player testing. In any case, that testing is waiting on the next beta build, which contains numerous balance changes and fixes made based on the first round of tests. We'll try to provide as much advance notice as possible regarding the date and time of the next testing sessions. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Sha of Anger Testing
We have applied a hotfix that causes the Sha of Anger to respawn within minutes instead of the usual period of hours, to facilitate testing of this encounter on beta. If you have not yet checked it out, you can find the encounter in Kun-Lai Summit.

Please use this thread to share any feedback. Thanks! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Salyis's Warband Testing
We have applied a hotfix that causes Galleon and his band of marauding saurok to respawn within minutes instead of the usual period of days, to facilitate testing of this encounter on beta. If you have not yet checked it out, you can find the encounter on the southern edge of Valley of the Four Winds.

Please use this thread to share any feedback. Thanks! (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

SWTOR Free Trial
If you are interested in SWTOR, you can now play the game up until level 15 for free, with no time limit! You will be able to access Warzones and Flashpoints, as well as try all of the classes.

SWTOR Free Week for Former Players
If you played SWTOR at some time in the past and moved on to another game, you now have the chance to come back and play for free from July 10 through July 17. You can give the Group Finder, Ranked Warzones, and Adaptive Gear system a try as well if you missed Patch 1.3. If you want to take advantage of the Free Character transfers, you will receive a Gannifari pet and 25 Black Hole Commendations!

SWTOR Recruit a Friend Mount
If you are still playing SWTOR, there are rewards for you as well. If you refer or have refered a friend through the Friends Trial Referral Form and at least one of them bought the same and paid for some time, you will get a 110% speed Kurtob Alliance Speeder in the mail, which can be used at level 25! For the full requirements, see the SWTOR site.

by Published on 2012-07-10 06:51 AM

Patch 1.0.3b Tomorrow - Patch Notes, ​Diablo III DPS Calculator, PvP Matchmaking, Maintenance, Comic, GW2 Beta Keys

Guild Wars 2 Beta Keys Giveaway - Curse is giving away 50,000 Guild Wars 2 Beta Keys and the giveaway is open to everyone today!

Terrace of Endless Spring: Tsulong
Tsulong is the second boss in the Terrace of Endless Spring raid. This raid may be more difficult than the other two, as it requires you to complete Heart of Fear before entering.

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Terrace of Endless Spring
Straddling the mountain range between the Jade Forest and the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, the Terrace of Endless Spring has been a sacred refuge for millennia. Its peaceful fountains are said to have the power to heal and rejuvenate, but when the Sha of Fear attacked, many of the complex's guardians turned on each other in fits of terror.


  • The Night - Tsulong struggles at Night with the Sha's corrupting influence. Bringing Tsulong's remaining health to zero while at Night permanently destroys the Sha's influence over him. When he reaches 100 energy, he temporarily purges the Sha's influence and radiant sunlight turns Night into Day.
    • Dread Shadows - The Dread Shadows created by the Sha within Tsulong inflict 5,000 Shadow damage on all players and increases their Dread Shadows damage taken by 10%. This effect stacks.
    • Nightmares - The Sha within Tsulong projects Nightmares at the location of a random player. The Nightmares inflict 50,000 Shadow damage and fear players within 8 yards of the impact for 3 sec.
    • Shadow Breath - Tsulong expels out Sha energy in a 30 degree cone in front of him, inflicting 140,000 Shadow damage and increasing Shadow damage taken by 100% for 30 sec. This effect stacks.
    • Sunbeam - Tsulong's attempts to resist the Sha allow him to protect the players from Dread Shadows. Tsulong summons a Sunbeam onto the battlefield, and the Sunbeam grants immunity to Dread Shadows for players standing within the beam. The protected area of the Sunbeam shrinks over time as more players stand within it.
    • The Dark of Night - The Dark of Night appears at a random location and moves towards the nearest Sunbeam. The Dark of Night extinguishes a Sunbeam upon reaching it.
  • The Day - During the Day, Tsulong gains the upper hand over the Sha corruption. Players may heal and aid Tsulong during the Day, and bringing him to full health while in the Day permanently destroys the Sha's influence over him. When he reaches 100 energy, the Sha corrupts his emotions and Night descends upon the Terrace.
    • Embodied Terror - Embodied Terrors spawn as the Sha fights to control Tsulong. When players destroy an Embodied Terror, five Fright Spawns burst out.
      • Terrorize - The Embodied Terror casts Terrorize on both a random player and on Tsulong. The terror inflicts 10% of the player's current health as Shadow damage every 2 sec for 10 sec. Tsulong suffers 1% of his total health as Shadow damage every 1 sec. for 10 sec.
    • Fright Spawn - Five Fright Spawns appear when players destroy an Embodied Terror.
      • Fright - A Fright Spawn unleashes a wave of Fright, inflicting 20,000 Shadow damage and fear on players within 30 yards for 2 sec.
    • Unstable Sha - Unstable Sha appear around Tsulong and then move towards him, inflicting massive Shadow damage to Tsulong if they reach him.
      • Unstable Bolt - The Unstable Sha unleashes shadowy energy at a random player, inflicting 50,000 Shadow damage on the target. The Unstable Bolt also damages the Unstable Sha for 10% of its maximum health.
      • Instability - If an Unstable Sha reaches Tsulong, it inflicts 2,500,000 Shadow damage on Tsulong and disappears.
    • Sun Breath - Tsulong breathes out solar energy in a 60-degree cone in front of him, inflicting 4,000,000 Nature damage to Sha within 0 yards and stunning them for 8 sec. The breath also places the Bathed in Light effect on players within its area.
      • Bathed in Light - The warmth of the Sun instantly restores 25% of a player's total mana and increases their healing done by 500% for 15 sec.
    • The Light of Day - The Light of Day appears at a random location. Interacting with The Light of Day restores mana every 1 sec. and increases healing done by 3,000% for 30 sec. The amount of mana restored increases while the healing done decreases over the duration of the effect.

New Daily Quests
The previous beta build added several new daily quests, most of which reward Valor Points!

Level Name Objective Valor Money Faction +Rep
1Old MacDonaldDefeat Old MacDonald in a pet battle.1984
1LindsayDefeat Lindsay in a pet battle.1984
1Julia StevensDefeat Julia Stevens in a pet battle.1984
90Thinning The PackKill 8 Windward Tigers.× 5 1984 Order of the Cloud Serpent 250
90Sprite FrightKill 7 Shadowfae Tricksters.× 5 1984 Order of the Cloud Serpent 250
90The Shoe Is On The Other FootRe-steal 14 Stolen Boots.× 5 1984 Order of the Cloud Serpent 250
90Dark HuntressKill the Windward Huntress.× 5 1984 Order of the Cloud Serpent 250
90On The ProwlKill the Windward Saber.× 5 1984 Order of the Cloud Serpent 250
90Madcap MayhemKill the Shadowfae Madcap.× 5 1984 Order of the Cloud Serpent 250
90PoopedCollect 6 piles of Tiny Poop.× 5 1984 Order of the Cloud Serpent 250
90Needle Me NotUse the honey at the northern clearing in The Arboretum, and then kill the Orchard Needler.× 5 1984 Order of the Cloud Serpent 250
90Weeping WidowsKill 7 Weeping Widows.× 5 1984 Order of the Cloud Serpent 250
90A Tangled WebDestroy Widow's Webs to free 5 Sri-La Villagers.× 5 1984 Order of the Cloud Serpent 250
90Serpent's ScaleCollect 25 Serpent's Scale.× 5 1984 Order of the Cloud Serpent 250
90Lingering DoubtUse the Sha Attunement Device at the Sha Disturbances in The Widow's Wail. The entrance to The Widow's Wail can be found to the north along the coast, south of Sri-La Village.× 5 1984 Order of the Cloud Serpent 250
90Tiny TreatsCollect 100 Tiny Spider Eyes.× 5 1984 Order of the Cloud Serpent 250
90The Seed of DoubtKill the Seed of Doubt.× 5 1984 Order of the Cloud Serpent 250
90Monkey MischiefKill 13 Oona hozen.× 5 1984 Order of the Cloud Serpent 250
90The Big Brew-hahaCollect 100 Sri-La Stout.× 5 1984 Order of the Cloud Serpent 250
90Saving the SerpentsCollect 10 Rescued Serpents.× 5 1984 Order of the Cloud Serpent 250
90The Big Kah-OonaKill Lord Oona.× 5 1984 Order of the Cloud Serpent 250
90PoopedCollect 6 piles of Big Poop.× 5 1984 Order of the Cloud Serpent 250
90The Trainer's Challenge: Ace LongpawSpeak to Ace Longpaw, then defeat him.× 5 1984 Order of the Cloud Serpent 250
90The Trainer's Challenge: Big BaoSpeak to Big Bao, then defeat him.× 5 1984 Order of the Cloud Serpent 250
90The Trainer's Challenge: Ningna DarkwheelSpeak to Ningna Darkwheel, then defeat her.× 5 1984 Order of the Cloud Serpent 250
90The Trainer's Challenge: Suchi the SweetSpeak to Suchi the Sweet, then defeat her.× 5 1984 Order of the Cloud Serpent 250
90The Trainer's Challenge: Qua-Ro WhitebrowSpeak to Qua-Ro Whitebrow, then defeat him.× 5 1984 Order of the Cloud Serpent 250
90CannonfireDestroy 8 Shao-Tien Cannons.× 5 1984 Golden Lotus 250
90Acts of CrueltyRescue 5 Golden Lotus Guards or Mistfall Villagers.× 5 1984 Golden Lotus 250
90High Chance of RainDestroy the Stormcaller staves.× 5 1984 Golden Lotus 250
90Unleashed SpiritsKill 30 Unleashed Spirits.× 5 1984 Golden Lotus 250
90Laosy ScoutingRescue Lao Softfoot.× 5 1984 Golden Lotus 250
90Anji's DiplomacyStop the Shao-Tien Behemoth from being empowered.× 5 1984 Golden Lotus 250
90Breaking Their Spirits (Not Yet Implemented)Stop the Shao-Tien Spirit Ritual.× 5 1984 Golden Lotus 250
90Crumbling BehemothDestroy the Shao-Tien Behomoth.× 5 1984 Golden Lotus 250

Beta Class Balance Analysis
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
Do the stats of temporary pets like Feral Spirits (ones that don't have a pet stats page) adjust dynamically according to thier master's stats? Or do they still take a "snap shot" of thier master's stats?
They update dynamically now; no more “snapshotting” of stats. The next build you all get should have most of the pet scaling issues I’ve mentioned previously fixed, so if you see things that aren’t working right, try them out in the next build.

Hi, I'd like to know what your stance on Vengeance affecting defensive abilities is. I remember Word of Glory during Cata specifically not being affected by Vengeance. Currently in MoP Expel Harm can go upwards of 120k~ non-crit, as well as other defensive abilities which are affected by Vengeance (Death Siphon, Lichborne Death Coil healing, Zen Sphere healing component, Shield Barrier). There are also others which are not (Anti-Magic Zone). Where do you draw the line? (list non exhaustive).

Basically ,is it a bug that some only scale with AP from gear while others scale with Vengeace AP as well? If not, are there any that are scaling differently with Vengeance AP than they are with AP from gear? Eg. 1:1 scaling with gear from AP but 1:4 scaling with Vengeance AP?

Vengeance should work just like any other AP buff. For tanks, we explicitly make certain abilities scale with AP, so that they do become stronger while tanking. I think the simplest example is Shield Block vs. Shield Barrier. We want Shield Block to generally win against hard hitting (such as raid boss) creatures, and Shield Barrier to win against weaker hitting creatures. But we don’t want that difference to be so stark that the other feels useless in either situation. Shield Block naturally scales with the incoming damage. We made Shield Barrier scale with AP, since we know that your AP is also going to be higher when fighting those harder hitting creatures, thanks to Vengeance. If something scales off for AP and isn’t counting Vengeance that sounds like a bug. The one you mention, Anti-Magic Zone, scales with 400% of Str for Blood / Frost and 325% for Unholy (to counteract the +25% Str that Unholy gets). We didn't want AMZ to be significantly stronger for Frost or Unholy, such that you're asked to switch specs just to bring a stronger cooldown.

- Right now several Classes/Specs have extremely complicated AoE rotations, but do SIGNIFICANTLY LESS AoE damage than classes/specs that simply spam 1 or 2 abilities.
It's fine for specs to have different sorts of AE mechanics, but the simpler ones shouldn't also do the most DPS. (Granted, "DPS" when referring to AE has a lot to do with duration, area and and number of targets.)

Is it intended that the DR curve for dodge is 2-3x as punishing as for parry? In other words, is it intended that tanks are going to be stacking parry over dodge by a 3:1 ratio?
Yes and no. Plate tanks now get a very significant amount of parry from Strength (the same amount that druids get dodge from Agility). So yes, plate tank parry is going to be significantly higher than their dodge. We want parry rating and dodge rating on gear to be of similar value, so we drastically eased the diminishing returns on parry for these classes. Saying that tanks are going to be “stacking parry over dodge by a 3:1 ratio” is probably exaggeration; we’re expecting you to naturally get Strength on gear, giving you the majority of your parry, and then favor parry rating and dodge rating roughly equally beyond that. There’s still some tweaking to be done to get that more tightly tuned (especially since our recent change to ratings of only needing ~85% as much rating to get the same result as before), but it’s in the right ballpark.

Death Knight (Forums)
Ouch, I was already fairly resource starved on the beta and figured this was (part) of the cause. If Rime no longer gives RP from it's HB, that's going to be super painful.
At the risk of sounding pedantic, it’s always been this way. On live, you probably have the Chill of the Grave talent, which increases Howling Blast’s runic power generation by 10, making it 20 naturally and 10 with Rime. Without Chill of the Grave, it generates 10 naturally, and 0 with Rime, which is what you’re seeing on beta.

Rune tap, and Death Pact (Possibly the whole level 60 tier of talents) are generating healing AE threat similar to that of regular healing. Is this intended? Seems rather odd, since the threat generated by the healing portion of death strike was removed. Both these healing abilities do generate AE threat on live as well, but they aren't modified by the thread modifier provided by blood presence like it does on beta.
Probably not. We'll discuss those. Specifically, as the poster mentions, the issue isn't the heals causing threat. The issue is the heal threat being magnified for a tank, such that you risk asking the tank not to use their self-heal for fear of pulling stuff off of the other tank.

Druid (Forums)
Issue #1. Guardian dps seems to be EXTREMELY skewed towards mangle.
Issue #2. Guardian dps is pretty overpowered.

You are probably right on both counts. We'll look into it.

Monk (Forums)
Is it intended that the stacks of Mana Tea a Mistweaver Monk can gain from doing DPS in Stance of the Fierce Tiger will persist through stance changes, and is it intended that in periods of downtime Mistweaver Monks are to use this fact in order to build up a reserve of Mana Tea at no cost other than what it takes to consume the stacks when later needed?
It's okay that the stacks persist, but you shouldn't be able to gain stacks in another stance.

The majority of people feel it should be 10/sec regen rate as a base. Though, the developers fully intend to bring it down to 8/sec, despite us all agreeing how starved we feel.
It's 8 for Windwalkers, with a +30% buff for Brewmasters to provide a 10.4 per second. The free Tiger Palms for Brewmasters (which you may or may not have yet - I can't remember) are intended to fill in for some of the down time.

Paladin (Forums)
I heard that several new builds are coming for testing. Good, and I really hope judgement of the pure will be back in any form. This is NOT about we need a buff, and I don't care how you spin your balancing, this is about the character of Paladin class. I hope that judgement to be back into holy paladin rotation and giving an effect called judgement of the pure.
Holy paladins being required to Judge was super controversial. I think we would cause a lot of unhappiness if we tried to bring it back. There are several talents that tie into using Judgment if you want to use it. We intend to handle the lower haste numbers by adding 10% spell haste into Seal of Insight.

Priest (Forums)
"Why does Holy Word: Sanctuary not benefit from haste like healing rain and Efflorescence. Is it intended?"
Not intended. It should benefit from haste.

Shaman (Forums)
Call of the Elements and the ability to reset the cooldowns of SLT/MTT/HTT potentially twice in one fight is far too good for either of the other talents to match up with it.
Call of the Elements resetting long cooldowns might give it too much synergy with other talents. We're considering having it effect fewer cooldowns but giving itself a shorter cooldown.

Warrior (Forums)
Revenge - 4.5 sec cooldown. Instantly attack an enemy and two additional enemies for X damage. If Revenge is on cooldown, a successful dodge or parry refreshes Revenge. Generates 10 Rage in Defensive Stance.
We're going to try something like this (probably with a longer cooldown). It helps to cover up streaks of not getting to use Revenge. It does lose a tiny bit of the Revenge kit.

Just looking to ask on your stance (no pun intended.. kinda) on prot warriors and Heroic Strike / Cleave.

On live, I like where they stand, I use them frequently and am happy with that. On beta, they just arent worth using. Cleave itself hits for an astonishingly low amount, as with heroic strike. My main question is, are these abilities going to get buffed? Because even with the free heroic strike/cleave proc, It's just not worth using it over Devastate. I know that it's not exactly on the gcd, but to me it's just not worth hitting the button for the extremely poor output. You could argue 'free damage is free damage' and i'd be okay with that, but i'm sure there's something else you could say

The rage cost on both the abilities on beta is SIGNIFICANTLY too high if the damage values are to stay the same.
It would be nice to get back to actually using those abilities instead of blindly spamming Devastate.

We are happy with the beta design for now. The idea is that we can't ask Prot warriors to spend Rage on offensive attacks if we are also asking them to spend resources on defensive abilities -- the defenses will just always win. The Ultimatum proc is there to let you use Heroic Strike and Cleave for free sometimes. When you aren't tanking (like you are solo or off-tanking) or when survival isn't a question (you're running an easier dungeon perhaps) then you can Heroic Strike instead of Shield Block or Barrier. As you point out, you can use Heroic Strike and Devastate at the same moment since they aren't on the same cooldown.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Death Knight (Forums)
Soul Reaper and Death Rune Fix
Thanks for all of the feedback on this topic. No promises, but we're going to consider alternatives to Death Runes for Soul Reaper. Runic power is the most likely candidate. We'll see how it feels to us and gauge beta response. We'll probably keep Death Siphon and Necrotic Strike as Death Runes.

We don't want to get in the habit of offering patch notes for unreleased beta builds, but it's regrettably been some time since we have been able to get a new build up, and we know this has been a passionate topic. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Content Consumption Speed and Difficulty
My question still stands: We have 3 modes of the very same raid, 2 of these are easily accessible by the vast majority. Why is it necessary to ruin the third mode for the ones who enjoy it? It's not about elitism, it's about providing a satisfying and enjoyable experience for the hardcore players too.
The "why should we ruin this for the hardcore" bit has been explained several posts ago (and in multiple ocasions).

However, there's something this hardcore/casual attitude that hasn't been tackled at length on this thread. (Note: this is a bit of a rant, just my personal, and probably crazy, opinion.)

Perhaps we should find a definition of what's a "hardcore" and a "casual" player (Hint: You'll probably have an easier time predicting the lottery numbers) that the community can agree on. It's an incredible tricky question. If we go by the "classic definition" (is there even one?) of the term, a hardcore player would be any person deeply interested in a game, usually with a very high level of play and understanding, and capable of devoting plenty of time to it.

These days, I've seen it all, from players playing 5 hours a day, 5 days a week, claiming they're casual, to players playing 3 hours a day, 2 days a week, claiming they're hardcore. It obviously can't be that way for everyone. (And truth be told, in most cases I've seen the "casual" or "hardcore" word attached depending on which one would favour the argument that was being presented).

If we go by this sort of "classic definition", then it's very clear who's "hardcore" and who's not. And some people will be very close to that definition, but not close enough. Either because you can't devote enough time (which is completely fine), or because your group doesn't have that level of skill (which, again, is completely fine too).

If we go by that "classic definition" of the term, then we could assume that hardcore players completed the raid relatively quick after the initial Heroic Madness kill and were not affected at all by the debuff.

So, to me, the real question would be "where do we stop considering players hardcore"? But that's a debate that would probably never end...

The point was that a lot of people(and thats just my claim) that perhaps dont fit the classic definition of hardcore(since they cant devote a million hours in a few weeks) feel that they were effectively(dont start the "turn the Aspect-buff off" discusion again please - it has been covered) robbed of the opportunity to complete the unnerfed content!

Your answer to this group is to get classic hardcore or accept the conditions as they are?

My answer to that group is that they can turn the debuff off.

The answer to that is that they can't because of the realm race (or whichever), but in that case, at least to me, it sounds like the interest of that group doesn't lie on the challenge itself, as much as on finishing ahead of others (which is probably just as fun for some people).

As long as the possibility to turn off the debuff exists, noone is being "robbed" of anything. The challenge is still there, if you and your guildmates want to do it. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

25 Man Raid Incentives
Are you guys planning to make some changes to the current 10/25man raid versions. Because right now, pretty much everyone are switching to 10man and that leaves 25man raids to certain death. Maybe make the achievements like they was in Wotlk - 10 and 25man versions. Also a good idea is to make some mounts/pets/titles drop/being earned only from 25mans.
The devs don't have, at this time, any plans to incentivize 25-man raiding. They want to make 10 and 25-man raids close enough, so that you choose whatever you find more fun. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

"No-brainer" Talents
Posting here to draw a little attention to a useful thread.

What would also be useful is to state (in a nice way) when you disagree with a previous poster. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Guild Wars 2 Beta Key Giveaway
If you are interested in taking part in the final Guild Wars 2 Beta Weekend, we might be able to help! We have 20,000 keys per region to give away to anyone starting on Tuesday at midnight PDT!

If you already know you want to play, you can purchase the game now for Beta Weekend access and a three day headstart!

US players can get a key here and EU players can get one from here. If you are looking for people to play with or more information about the game, check out our GW2 forum!

Curse is Hiring!
Due to continuing growth, Curse is looking to fill another position in the near future! If you're looking for a chance to get into the industry, this may be the opportunity you've been seeking.

Senior .NET Web Developer
  • Interested in working on some of the most popular .NET-based sites in the world?, and are just a few of our cutting edge .NET sites you’ll be working on as a Senior .NET Web Developer. In this role, you’ll rely on significant experience in web application development to create cutting edge web properties.
  • Please note, this is not an entry level position, and requires prior professional experience as a .NET developer.
  • Location: Huntsville (On site only)

For more information on working at Curse, please head to our Jobs page.

Trading Card Art Gallery Update
The Trading Card Game art gallery has been updated to feature ten new pieces.

by Published on 2012-07-08 05:03 PM

50,000 Guild Wars 2 Beta Keys Giveaway - Curse is giving away 50,000 Guild Wars 2 Beta Keys! Keys given away are only available to Curse Premium users. The giveaway will be open to everyone tomorrow (Tuesday).

Barbarian End-Game Build, Farming Locations, Follower DPS Calculator, Diablo 3 iPhone Cases, and Plague of Toads Comic

MoP Beta Giveaway: We sent out the beta keys to winners today by PM. Make sure to log in and check, as you may not have email notification on receiving a PM turned on!

Heart of Fear: Amber-Shaper Un'sok
Today we take a look at Amber-Shaper Un'sok, the fifth boss of the Heart of Fear raid.

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Heart of Fear
The Sha of Fear has corrupted the grand empress of the mantid. Her increasingly erratic and paranoid commands have driven the Klaxxi--the keepers of mantid culture--to take aggressive action. Because they are few in number, the Klaxxi are reluctantly willing to accept outside help in destroying the empress and purging their race of the sha's negative influence.

Amber-Shaper Un'sok
  • I Heard You Like Amber... - Kill Living Amber in Burning Amber until at least 8 pools overlap, and then defeat Amber-Shaper Un'sok on Normal or Heroic difficulty in Heart of Fear.
  • Heroic: Amber-Shaper Un'sok - Defeat Amber-Shaper Un'sok in Heart of Fear on Heroic difficulty.

  • Stage One: Worthy Test Subjects?
    • Amber Scalpel - Un'sok carves the ground with a focused beam of pure amber energy. The beam inflicts 20,000 Nature damage every 0.25 sec. at the point of contact, and leaves behind Molten Amber residue. The residue inflicts 27,500 Fire damage every 1 sec. to players who touch it. Some of this residue congeals into Living Amber oozes.
      • Living Amber - Each of these animated amber oozes focuses mindlessly on a random player, emanating a Corrosive Aura that inflicts 1,600 Nature damage every 2 sec to all players. Each ooze Bursts in a shower of amber when destroyed, inficting 45,500 Nature damage to enemies within 8 yards and healing any other Living Amber within that radius for 0% of their maximum health. In Heroic difficulty, dissolved Living Amber will reconstitute after 30 seconds. In Looking for Raid difficulty, destroying a Living Amber does not heal other nearby Living Amber.
        • Burning Amber - When a Living Amber is destroyed, it dissolves into a pool that deals 31,000 Fire damage every 1 sec to all enemies within 3 yards.
    • Parasitic Growth - Amber-Shaper Un'sok causes amber to grow within the body of a random target, inflicting 16,250 Nature damage every 2 sec. This strain of amber absorbs healing energy, increasing the damage it inflicts to its host in direct proportion to any healing received. After 30 sec, the unstable parasite dissipates without a trace.
    • Reshape Life - Un'sok unleashes a torrent of amber at a player, transforming the target into a misshapen mass of flowing amber that is hostile to players and monsters alike.
      • Mutated Construct - While transformed, the player continuously expends Willpower to retain control over the twisted form, at the rate of 2 per second, beginning with a maximum of 100. When Willpower runs out, the player dies and the Mutated Construct continues to act, uncontrolled.
        • Amber Explosion - The amber encircling the mutated player compels the unleashing of a massive explosion, inflicting 120,000 Nature damage to all players.
        • Amber Strike - The construct inflicts 250,000 Nature damage to the current hostile target and interrupts normal spellcasting. This includes a target's attempt to trigger an Amber Explosion. Amber Strike also destabilizes the target, increasing damage taken by 10% for 10 sec. This effect stacks.
        • Break Free - Once the physical form of the amber construct has been damaged to 20% of its remaining health, the player can break free with a great surge of will. The player then regains their natural form.
        • Consume Amber - A transformed player consumes a pool of Burning Amber left behind by a defeated Living Amber. The consumption restores 20 Willpower, but also bolsters the mutated form, increasing its current and maximum health by 4,500,000.
        • Struggle for Control - With a surge of will, the player expends 8 Willpower to force the mutated form to cease all action for 0.5 sec. This also increases the mutated form's damage taken by 100% for the 5 sec.
        • Smash - Transformed players use this simple melee attack in lieu of their normal attack, inflicting 40,000 Physical damage to a target.
  • Stage Two: Un'sok's Greatest Creation - When Un'sok reaches 60% remaining health, he calls forth a massive Amber Monstrosity to fight beside him. Un'sok continues to attack with his full arsenal of abilities from Stage One.
    • Amber Monstrosity - Un'sok formed this towering behemoth entirely of flowing amber, and it stands as a triumph of Un'sok's research into creating life from the mantids' amber.
      • Amber Explosion - The Monstrosity releases a massive explosion of amber energy, inflicting 140,000 Nature damage to all players.
      • Massive Stomp - The Monstrosity stomps the ground forcefully, inflicting 97,500 Physical damage to all enemies within 15 yards and knocking them back.
      • Fling - The Monstrosity grabs its current target in one of its massive hands and hurls the hapless victim at a distant player, causing 81,250 Physical damage to targets within 0 yards of the point of impact and stunning them for 3 sec.
    • Amber Carapace - While the Amber Monstrosity lives, an Amber Carapace shields Amber-Shaper Un'sok. The Carapace reduces his damage taken by 90%.
  • Stage Three: Un'sok Unleashed - Upon witnessing the destruction of his greatest creation, Un'sok channels power from the amber pools lining his chamber and prepares to make his final stand. Un'sok no longer uses Amber Scalpel, but now casts Reshape Life with greatly increased frequency.
    • Concentrated Mutation - Un'sok draws massive amounts of amber energy into his body, increasing his damage dealt by 50% and attack speed by 50%.
    • Volatile Amber - Un'sok's siphoning agitates the pools of amber around the room, causing them to periodically emit bursts of amber that fly through the air at high velocity. Each amber burst inflicts 29,250 Nature damage to any player it strikes. If a missile strikes a player while they are transformed into a Mutated Construct, it heals them for 20% of their health.
    • Amber Globule - Un'sok causes two spheres of destructive amber to form from the pools at the edges of the room, each of which fixates on a random player. If an Amber Globule comes into contact with its primary target, it explodes, dealing 600,000 Nature damage to all players within 30 yards. If two Amber Globules touch each other, their energies will neutralize and dissipate harmlessly.

Mists of Pandaria Credits Concept Art
One of the recent beta patches added a lot of concept art for the Mists of Pandaria credits screen.

Computers - Setup of the Month (by chaud)
Each month or every 2 months, depending on the hardware evolutions, the lovely chaud will work on a couple of hardware setups for those of you who are thinking of upgrading their computer!

This month
Hard drive prices are slowly declining, but are still above the pre-flood prices, so now is still a good time to buy a SSD. The current SSD prices are still slowly moving downward, with many under $1 per gigabyte now. A few sales are even nearing 50 cents per gigabyte, so look for something on sale!

If you are building today and don't go for the upper range of overclocking (past ~4.5Ghz) then you are better off buying Ivy Bridge. If you want to go for the maximum overclocks or have to save money, the 2500k is $25 cheaper. Unless you are doing a lot of video rendering or something that is similarly multithreaded, you do not need the 3770K and should spend that money elsewhere.

Make sure to keep your AMD and Nvidia drivers up to date.

Don't hesitate to post any feedback in the comments of that news post, and don't forget to visit the Computer Forum for any extra questions! If you are interested in Folding@home, take a look in our team's thread.

ComponentPuppy Dolphin
MonitorAcer V223W EJBD 22-Inch Widescreen - $138ASUS VW246H 24-Inch Widescreen - $190
KeyboardMicrosoft Digital Media Keyboard 3000 - $15Cyborg V.5 - $52
MouseLogitech G400 - $34Razer Deathadder - $49
SpeakersLogitech S220 2.1 Speaker System - $23Logitech Z313 Speaker System - $40
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
MonitorASUS VE276Q 27-Inch - $265HP ZR2440W 24-inch (IPS Panel) - $374
KeyboardLogitech G110 - $50Razer BlackWidow (Backlit)- $61 ($92)
MouseLogitech G500 - $56Razer Naga (Buttons on the Side) - $75
SpeakersLogitech Z323 2.1 Speaker System - $54Logitech Speaker System Z523 - $80

Puppy and Dolphin
Overclocked Puppy will outperform Dolphin when multiple threads are in use (Not WoW) and come close in most other cases.
Mix and match anything but the CPU/Motherboard combo between Puppy and Dolphin. Pick one of the two CPU/Motherboard combos.
Mix and match anything between Dolphin and Narwhal.
ComponentPuppy Dolphin
CaseNZXT GAMMA Classic - $36NZXT GAMMA Classic - $36
Power SupplyCorsair CX500 V2 - $53XFX Core Edition PRO 550W - $61
CPUAMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition- $110Intel i3-2120 - $123
HeatsinkCooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $26Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - $35
MotherboardASUS M5A97 AM3+ 970 - $94Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H - $120
Memory4GB PNY Optima DDR3 10600 - $258GB G.Skill DDR3 12800 - $56
Graphics CardGigabyte GTX 550 Ti - $120XFX 6870 or EVGA GTX 560 - $150/ $146
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar Blue 500GB - $70Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB - $120
DVDAsus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $17Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW - $17

Narwhal and Unicorn
All of these parts can be mixed and matched to create a build between Narwhal and Unicorn. SSDs are always optional.
ComponentNarwhal Unicorn
CaseCooler Master HAF 912 - $60Cooler Master HAF932 - $149
Power SupplyCorsair 650TX V2 - $90Corsair 750HX - $139
CPUIntel i5-3570K - $230Intel i7-3770K - $350
HeatsinkThermaltake Frio - $57Noctua 6 NH-D14 - $83
MotherboardASUS P8Z77-V LK - $150ASUS P8Z77-V - $190
Memory8GB G.Skill DDR3 12800 - $568GB G.Skill DDR3 12800 - $56
Graphics CardMSI 7850 Twin Frozr - $260XFX 7970 Black Edition OR EVGA GTX 670 FTW - $450 / $400
Hard DriveWestern Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $120Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black - $120
SSDCrucial 128 GB m4 (Review) - $105
Corsair Force Series GT 120 GB - $135
SAMSUNG 830 128GB (Review) - $128
OCZ 120 GB Vertex 3 (Review) - $100
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The MMO Report is here with a special on Marvel Heroes, featuring an interview with Dave Brevik, who created the Diablo series.

by Published on 2012-07-07 07:11 AM

Entry-Level Melee Wizard Build, ERR37 All In One Calculator, Scheduled Maintenance - July 10th, Blizzard Job, Fan Art, End-Game Poll

Heart of Fear: Garalon
Tonight we take a look at Garalon, the fourth boss of the Heart of Fear raid.

Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Heart of Fear
The Sha of Fear has corrupted the grand empress of the mantid. Her increasingly erratic and paranoid commands have driven the Klaxxi--the keepers of mantid culture--to take aggressive action. Because they are few in number, the Klaxxi are reluctantly willing to accept outside help in destroying the empress and purging their race of the sha's negative influence.

  • Furious Swipe - Garalon performs a Furious Swipe to targets in a large cone in front of him, inflicting 800,000 Physical damage. If Garalon fails to hit at least 2 targets with his Furious Swipe, he gains Fury.
    • Fury - Fury increases Garalon's damage dealt by 10% and movement speed by 10% for 30 sec. This effect stacks.
  • Crush - Garalon crushes his foes, inflicting 100,000 Physical damage to all players. Any player within 12 yards receives an additional 800,000 Physical damage as Garalon's body slams down upon them. Garalon's massive bulk also knocks down all players for 2 sec. Garalon crushes foes whenever he detects their presence beneath him. In Normal Difficulty, Garalon also crushes foes when Pheromones passes to a new target. In Heroic Difficulty, Garalon periodically crushes foes.
  • Pheromones - Garalon surrounds a player with powerful pheromones, fixating on the target. Every 2 sec. the Pheromones inflict 20,000 Nature damage and Pungency on the target, then spawn a Pheromone Trail. Pheromones pass to allies in close proximity.
    • Pungency - Exposure to Garalon's Pheromones renders the player extra pungent, increasing Pheromone damage by 10% for 1.25 min. This effect stacks.
    • Pheromone Trail - The Pheromone Trail on the ground inflicts 25,000 Nature damage to players within 4 yards.
  • Garalon's Legs - Players attack Garalon's legs separately from his body.
    • Weak Point - Close proximity to Garalon's leg allows attackers to see weak points, increasing their damage dealt to the leg by 100%.
    • Broken Leg - Breaking one of Garalon's legs damages Garalon for 3% of his maximum health and reduces Garalon's movement speed by 15%. This effect stacks up to 4 times.
    • Mend Leg - Garalon periodically mends one of his broken legs, restoring it to full health.
  • Damaged - In Heroic difficulty, Garalon gains the Damaged effect upon reaching 33% remaining health.
    • Pheromones - While Garalon has the Damaged effect, Garalon ignores the fixate effects of Pheromones.
    • Melee Attack - While Garalon has the Damaged effect, Garalon uses his normal melee attack and gains a dramatic speed increase.

Crypt of the Forgotten Kings Scenario
Another scenario opened recently for testing, Crypt of the Forgotten Kings!

Category Name Points
ScenariosFancy Footwork
Complete the Crypt of Forgotten Kings scenario without anyone taking damage from a Cloud of Hatred.


ScenariosIt's a Trap!
Step on a floor trap in the Crypt of Forgotten Kings scenario.


Beta Class Balance Analysis
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
One slight correction to something we said a while back:
White attacks are still ‘one roll’ (Miss Dodge Parry Block Glance Crit Hit), and yellow attacks are still ‘two roll’ (Miss Dodge Parry Block, Crit). The only change to that is that Block against players is an additional separate roll now.
Correction: Block is always a separate roll, not just on players. So white attacks are technically two rolls (Miss Dodge Parry Glance Crit Hit vs. Block NonBlock), and yellow attacks are technically three rolls (Miss Dodge Parry Hit vs. Block NonBlock vs. Crit NonCrit). However, please take care in discussing this, since "two roll" has historically meant that crit is rolled separately, which is NOT the case for white attacks.

From the calculator I'm assuming this [healer pushback] is 70 percent right?

Have you guys done the low level pvp pass that Zarhym mentioned in this thread many months back?
No, not yet. Good question. We like to make sure the changes we have for level 85-90 feel shippable before we look at things at lower level. Any abilities that stand out are certainly worth mentioning (anywhere in this forum) so we will be on the lookout for them.

Death Knight (Forums)
Continuing on from this post: is Runic Corruption bugged? Some DKs are noticing that multiple procs of Runic Corruption in a row are leading to the buff getting a full 3 seconds added to it. Take an instance of 3 RC procs in a row with a 2.5 second duration. 3 RC procs in a row should grant 7.5 seconds, but in actuality, is giving us 8.5 seconds (2.5 + 3 + 3). Could this bug possibly explain why Runic Corruption is doing so well for the devs and not the players?
Yes, that is exactly what is happening and is fixed for the next build. That should account for some of the difference between RC and RE.

Is it intended that Rime proc Howling blast doesn't produce 10 Runic power? Also, using conversion while in frost spec/pres causes the RP generation to go from 20% to 100%.
Yes. RP generation is associated with spending runes. We’ve fixed the bug with Conversion interacting incorrectly with Frost Presence for the next build.

Shaman (Forums)
Frankly, I don't see buffing Telluric Currents to be the right approach for Shaman mana regeneration
The intent of Telluric Currents is free Lightning Bolts, not a healer mana regeneration system.

(The new priest talent, PW: Solace is intended to generate mana, but it is a talent that competes against other mana regeneration / conservation talents. Always remember when looking at healer mana that you have to look at the entire package, including the costs of heals themselves.)

Warrior (Forums)
Is it intentional that Bloodbath does not proc off Dragon's Roar?
Yes. We will change the tooltip to clarify that it only affects melee special attacks.

Is there a chance that it could be tied to both Critical Block chance and Shield Barrier potency so Mastery is relevant to both our AM Buttons, like paladins got with their Bastion of Glory talent? (You could also bring back the "Hold the Line" name this way.)
We think Prot's mastery works. Block chance is still useful since you can't get 100% uptime of Shield Block. Shield Barrier is getting a lot of attention now because it works so well on easier dungeons and older content, but we expect warriors will still be using Shield Block a lot on tougher fights.

In Fury related news, is there any chance that Raging Blow could be looked at? It's still not very powerful or integral to Fury's rotation and only accounts for a small portion of Fury's overall DPS.
We agree that Raging Blow needs to hit harder. You should be excited about using it whenever it is available.

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Content Difficulty and Consumption Speed
If that would be so, then why is TBC considered the best expansion for raiders, even with TK and Sunwell being so hard as they were? Loads of guilds could not complete SW, heck most guilds did not even raid at that level.
For the most hardcore raiders, yeah, sure it was fun. For the players that were somewhere behind (either Tier 5 or Tier 6 content, heck, even at Brutallus), things weren't exactly bright. I still remember the many threads we were seeing back then about Kael'thas and Lady Vashj breaking guilds...

Kael'thas, Muru, Kil'Jaeden, those fights were so hard they were massive brick walls, yet people liked it that way. And I bet it is because they gave a good challenge to even the most hardcore raiders. Thats what HM bosses should be, and should stay at -> hard, challenging and rewarding fights.
I understand this is the reasoning from the perspective of hardcore players, but there're many more players that for whatever reason don't really have the same level of skill. It doesn't take long for those players to go from fun to the frustration of realizing that, at their current skill level, they're facing an impossible challenge.

And the rewards have to more then a green "Herioc" tag for killing a nerfed boss. It has to be mostly the feeling that killing that boss really takes effort and the relieve of killing that boss after your 20th+ try on your own skills and not by a 5% debuff crutch must be whats driving you forward. Being rewarded for killing a weaker boss doesn't feel compelling to a lot of people.
To many other players, knowing that the boss is now 5% weaker, is compelling because it means they can have an easier time on things that were blocking them and will start progressing on the encounter.

So why is blizzard willing to take the achievement and prestige out of heroics. Trying to act like we're just being greedy for wanting heroics to MEAN something to down is pathetic. (which exactly how this blue is sounding)
Achievements aren't being removed from heroics, so that argument is rather moot. But if you really think that John Doe cares about what you did in a video game, you should really think again. Of course it means something to you, just don't pretend it means something for everyone, because that's not the case even in-game.

If you really think everyone needs to 'have room to move up or they'll get bored and quit' then screw it. Why have content that's hard at all - lets release 20 raid bosses all with a straight 25% nerf straight away so no one gets their feelings hurt that they can't progress.
There's a massive difference between having an appropriate challenge, hitting a brick wall, and steamrolling everything. If there's absolutly no challenge on any of the bosses, that would be as boring as hitting a raid full of Heroic Ragnaros for the players that don't have the skill to perform at that level. There're players that, very probably, could take on even harder incarnations of the bosses we've all seen. There're players that need a 5/10% debuff to have an adequate challenge, and there're players as well that even with the 30% debuff still struggle to advance.

And all of them are progressing at their own pace.

But now, all hardcore/semi-hardcore guilds have 8/8 DS HC
Can you prove that with data?. For some reason it's relatively common to have this perception that, because something is easier than before, everyone is getting it, and it's not true. The cold reality is that there're many raiding guilds that won't even see Spine Heroic before Mists of Pandaria is released (the skill difference between those guilds and the Top 200 in the world is THAT big).

The real funny thing is that if a player couldn't get past a certain hc in TBC he tried harder, joined other groups and got better gear
I know for many hardcore players, changing groups is not only acceptable, but pretty much mandatory. "If your current guild can't clear this, leave that sorry lot behind and aim for the sky". The reality is that many enjoy raiding with their friends and they'd rather stay there than join a guild that has Madness Heroic on farm status since Day 1, even if they can.

May I just say, I absolutely love the 3-tier system. The idea is quite brilliant indeed- I just think it needs more tweaking and balancing. That is, at what point to how much HCs should be nerfed, exactly HOW easy LFR should be, and which dungeons should be included- time will tell. My personal belief is that if most of the end content dungeons would be available in the 3 tier system, less people would complain about the "lack of content".
That's a very interesting thought, thanks for sharing it.

Are the Challenge Mode dungeons exactly the same as the Heroic Mode counterparts?
Although Jito has already responded to this (here), I'll add that Challenge mode is actually tuned harder than Heroic, and in some cases there might be even extra pulls or mechanics that aren't present on Heroic.

I haven't really thought about the jump in the tier gear, e.g from 12 -> 13. Even if the ilevel of the tier is on par with dungeon/rep reward level like I suggested, if the set bonus is more powerful than the previous, then LFR starts to feel more mandatory again. Any ideas on how this could be possibly addressed?
I think we should accept that guilds pushing for world firsts will do anything in their hands to get an edge. And it doesn't sound fair to punish the rest of the playerbase, preventing them from improving the gear of their characters, just because some guilds might get and edge on their race to world first.

You are basically saying that when confronted with a challenge the player must receive help to push past it.
Some players do need that help to progress on certain encounters. It's not necessarily a must, but it's true that there're players out there that wouldn't be able to kill a certain boss before the debuff reaches a certain percentage (if you kill a boss just with 5%, then you were pretty close already, by all means).

The part terrifies me. In terms of player satisfaction your keyword is "progression", my keyword is "challenge". Sorry, seems we're worlds apart
Both of them are the same. Progression brings a new challenge to overcome (unless you're at the end of the road). I'd say many players raid for the challenge and the experience, because they expect to overcome it eventually. That's were the line between progression and challenge might become distorted, as you start going through the different levels of skill our players have.

While to you a boss that is now 20% weaker than it was back then might look as an absolute non-challenge, the truth is that is still challenging for the players that are now progressing on it. So, the "challenge" is still there, and that's why, in that sense, for those players the debuff is almost a "must". If it wasn't for it, they wouldn't have anything else to do after defeating what's available to their own level of skill.

I am well aware that I am a tiny insignificant player compared to the millions playing wow; I am only trying to provide my own feedback which I believe is both my duty and right as a customer, as insignificant as I may be.
If you can put your thoughts in a clear and concise manner (which you clearly do), then it's not insignificant. We may agree or disagree, but that's it.

How then can you, Draztal, assume that you know that "many other players" see nerfs as compelling because they now have an easier time? That's just an assumption as well isn't it?
It's as much of an assumption as it is saying that many hardcore raiders find super difficult bosses compelling. I mean, it's just my way of trying to put into words that there's a segment of players that like the fact that, eventually, that boss they can't even think of killing right now, will be weaker enough to consider attempting it, and perhaps, succeeding at overcoming it.

I'd be crazy to not say that there are many hardcore raiders that find compelling fighting bosses that are absolutely insane for a huge majority of players.

You immediately solve all the issues. The people who need the nerfs, can still see the content, but get lower ilevel gear and the hardcores can play without nerfs to get their epeen gear.
So that those players can artificially feel superior to them? Isn't enough the fact that they defeated the boss without the debuff prove they're already better than them?

I don't understand why this can't be implemented like this? I don't think a player that performs less should get the same rewards as a daily theorycrafting elite player. We don't pay a cleaner the same amount as a surgeon.
This is a videogame, not a job. So it's pretty hard to relate that example to this environment, honestly.

Even if it was mandatory that you raid T11 content first, then T12 before you can get to T13, a lot of servers would only have one raiding guild running T13 content and wouldn't let anyone without T12 gear in.
This was happening back on the TBC days (I'll use it since it's been mentioned several times as the ideal "moment" of hardcore raiding). At some point through the BT/Hyjal/SWP cycle, in some realms guilds just started canibalizing each other, as the rest of the players just didn't have the gear, or the progression required to join them. Some guilds broke trying to defeat Brutallus, but I've always wondered how many players trying to enter those guilds, were rejected solely on the gear they had, rather than the actual skill they had, just because they were still playing catch-up to the players that had progressed more than them.

Draztal, don't you think it's a bit of a concern to sort of set the barrier really low in some things, however? I mean, I totally get the whole being accessible (I hate the word though XD) and as you can tell from my raid history I am one of those that come from a 'I used to raid but got tired of the schedules"-people for which LFR is excellent, and to a lesser degree normal mode.

However, I am greatly concerned where we are headed in general with gaming, into what seems like an environment where difficulty is not allowed to exist without a free pass, and learning curves is to be frowned upon. Failure is not an option - more or less. Don't you (and others here) feel that it's bad for both the longevity of the game, the sense of accomplishment that arises from solving things, and just general patience with the few things that should be hard will wane through this encouragement?

No, I don't think there's any concern on setting the barrier too low. I mean, anyone can play basketball, yet I know that the only thing in common I have with Michael Jordan when it comes to basketball skills is that he's also a human being.

Gaming has constantly been evolving, and it'll continue to do so for as long as this industry keeps moving. Difficulty is there, but the industry is probably moving away from punishing the players for things that, in the past, were seen as normal. Heck, back in the days even "casual" games (such as Super Mario) were punishing enough that, if you lost all your lifes (basically, the attempts at finishing the game), you had to start from scratch back in World 1-1.

Now - what can we do for Draztal. Oh yeah lets nerf the height of the hoop and the length of the field to Draztal also can get the above achievements - after all Jordan wont mind - he got them first and had fun doing them.
The proper equivalent to your comparison would be that, for Jordan's despair, I'd have fun playing with my friends and perhaps even winning local tournaments (thanks to them, not me, certainly). But, anyways, you're comparing the professional aspect of something anyone can do (play basketball) with a videogame. The differences in that regard, are, obviously, too big to even consider it a fair ground.

Anyways, let's leave that example up there, would be a shame if the thread went off-topic now when there're so many interesting posts going around. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Cataclysm Wasn't Entirely Bad After All
When we were leaving behind The Burning Crusade the general consesus from players in the forums was something like... "This is the worst expansion ever, can't wait for Wrath of the Lich King".

When we were leaving behind Wrath of the Lich King the general consesus from players in the forums was something like... "This is the worst expansion ever, can't wait for Cataclysm".

Now that we'll leave behind Cataclysm the general consesus from players in the forums, once again, is... "This is the worst expansion ever, can't wait for Mists of Pandaria".

Yet, so far, every expansion has added something positive to the game (of course, some players will say TBC was the best, some will say Wrath was the best, and so on).

Both Archeology, Transmogrification and Raid Finder have been some of the best additions in the game. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Please Bring Back Attunements
However, my guess is that some people probably don't miss the need to do some ridiculously long questchain just to get access to the newest raid, but many might just miss the quests itself. Thus my idea, why not add those quest chains back in, as optional quests, letting them tell the story and/or reason you have to do the stuff in that raid, maybe add in some kind of reward or even a final quest for the final boss... that would be nice (as an example: i really like the black temple access quest chain, the way it is nowadays)
The Lorewalkers faction should prove very interesting for all those of you that enjoy discovering the lore of Azeroth. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Diablo III End-Game Poll
Within the last week there has been a great deal of discussion about Diablo III's end-game. Blizzard even agree's that there is a current lacking of a long-term end-game. There have been many different suggestions for an end-game, such as those from Kripp and Athene, as well as Sixen's recent video suggesting the return of Pandemonium Events.

Curse Weekly Roundup
Scrolls is not far from release, Assassin's Creed 3 gets a brand new trailer, BioWare has confirmed player suspicions, professional gamers get a loft, The Secret World gives Curse a high-five, and new Mists of Pandaria content is always lurking -- All on this weeks Curse Weekly Roundup.

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